Many have enjoyed the smackdown which Brian Cox delivered to Malcom Rogers on Australian TV’s program “Q&A”. Myself included. Cox is a scientist, and one of the most popular science communicators in Britain (perhaps England’s answer to Neil deGrasse Tyson?). Roberts is a politician, a senator no less, in Australia. He’s also a climate denier.
But not everybody is happy about it. Deniers, for instance, are livid — mainly because it makes them all look bad. How dare Brian Cox have responded to senator Rogers’ crap about temperature by showing a graph of global temperature! How dare he have suggested that NASA, NOAA, and the Hadley Centre/Climate research unit have more credibility than politician Malcom Rogers, who seems to get his “information” from none other than Steve Goddard? How could one possibly trick Rogers into admitting that he thinks all those scientific organizations are engaged in a world-wide conspiracy to make up global warming? How dare the audience laugh out loud at Rogers?
I’m not at all surprised deniers are unhappy about it.
But there’s a reaction from Climate Change News which I don’t understand, and don’t agree with. They seem to think that Australian TV did us all a disservice by having their show turn into a contest between scientist and denier. They lament that the show didn’t spend its time focusing on specifics, what course we should take, or the consequences of Australia’s undermining their own Bureau of Meteorology.
Of course there needs to be more discussion of policy specifics. But in my opinion, that discussion will never be as useful as it should be until deniers are thrown out of politics. With senators like Australia’s Malcolm Rogers and America’s James Inhofe doing their best to paralyze action, lengthy intellectual discussion of the subtleties of policy choices gets us nowhere.
What we most need to do is to ridicule politicians who are climate deniers, so much and so often, that when they open their mouths to spew their bullshit they are met with laughter. Laughed off the stage. Laughed the hell out of politics. When we get rid of them, maybe then we can have important discussions about policy specifics, discussions that can improve our response to the danger of man-made climate change.
As long as Malcolm Rogers and Jim Inhofe get their way, our response to the danger will be: no response. Step 1 is to vote the deniers out of office. A crucial, indispensible part of achieving that is to show the world just how ridiculous they are. And by “ridiculous” I mean “worthy of ridicule.”
And if we get a few good laughs in the process, all the better. Thank you, Brian Cox.
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